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Full text of "Flora Indica Vol-I"

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208                                     FLOBA INDJCA.                            [Sabiacea.
The cohesion of the carpels in Sa&iacea is so very slight, even in the ovary^ wad dis-
appears so rapidly as the fruit advances towards maturity, that the connection is proba-
' Hy chiefly with apocarpous orders. Blume and Miers, as we have seen, place the Order
in the immediate neighbourhood of Menispermacea, indicating at the same time an
affinity with Lardizabatoceai. To ua it appears intermediate between Schizandra-
cea and Menispermacea, agreeing with the former in the snbscandent habit, in the
persistence of the bud-scales at the base of the branches, in the synchronous evolu-
tion of flowers and leaves from, the same buds, the dotted flowers, two-celled ovaries,
and the amphitropous or campylotropous ovules, and with the latter in the oblique
development of the ovary, by which the style becomes basilar, and the drupaceous
trait, and differing from the ordinary structure of both in the pentamerous flowers,
m the opposition of the sepals and petals, the presence of a disc, the partial cohe-
sion of the ovaries and styles, the inferior radicle, and the exalbuminous seeds. The
last character, however, is present in some Menisgermacea.
The quinary arrangement of the flowers at first sight appears a great obstacle to
the association of Sabiacea with Menispernutcea or-Scbwandracea} but this diffi-
culty loses much of its force in consequence of the occurrence of pentamerous Jowers
in Odontocarya in the one Order and in Schwandra, in the other. Odontocarya,
from Mr. Miers' description and drawing; appears to have many points in common
with Qafria, and deviates considerably from the normal structure of the Order to
which he has referred it.4 Seklsandra has been well illustrated by Dr. Asa Gray,
who has shown that, though the number of stamens is always five, the petals and
sepals vary from five to six.
Tie frequent transition from trnnerous to pentamerous flowers in certain genera
of J&tn&nGulaceaB, and the close affinity of %anunculace#, which are usually penta-
flieroiiB, to Berberided, which are always trimerous or tetramerous, tend still further
to weaken the force of this objection. It may be observed that the transition is
usually from trimerous flowers arranged in three or more rows, to pentamerous
flowers in two rows only\ This is also the case with the similar transition in Poly-
gonaoex, in which Order some genera have pentamerous flowers in a single series,
while others have trimerous flowers in a double verticil. An exception, however,
occurs in Helleborus and some other pentamerous Ranuneulacete* in which the petals
are about twice (or three times) as numerous as the sepals.
The most remarkable character of Sabiacea is undoubtedly the opposition of the
sepals and petals^ because the alternation of succeeding verticils both of leaves and!*
flowers is so* universal, that any exception has come to be regarded as next to impos-
sible. To this rule, indeed, we believe it will be found that Sabia offers rather an
apparent than a real exception ; for though the opposition of each member of the two
verticils is very evident, we believe the explanation to be that a portion only of the
outer verticil belongs to the calyx, the two--o|uter segments being lateral bracelets.
In all the species of Salia which we hajre examined, a single anterior bract is
found usually in close contact with the calyx. The two lateral sepals (as they are
usually termed) are exterior in aestivation, ind are in most of the species a little
longer and broader than the three inner sepals. The rcstivation of the petals is the
same as that of the sepals, the two lateral being exterior, one anterior, and two pos-
terior, interior and overlapping each other by one margin.
A very similar'-structure exists ia Helianthem,u,m> but the small ftizd of. the two
bract-like lateral sepals, or more .properly bracteoles, and the great breadth of the
three inner sepals,.prevsnt the opposition of, the two verticils from being so decided
as in Sabia. la (&/*,' whefe thej lateral bfactlets *tg wanting, no evident relation
can be traced between the position of the! sepals and petals. In Amarantkacea,
where the calyx is usually very much imbricated, the structure is possibly analogous,
as is indicated by the reduction of the number of sepals to three in several species
of Junaranthus.
Sabia is entirely an Indian genus. Blume indicates three species, all seemingly quite
distinct from those described below, so that the number known amounts to ten. The
dehiscence of the anthers requires to be observed carefully in the living plant. In